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Aid worker ‘Angel of Mostar’ rescues 57 women and children from Ukraine horror

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Dubbed the Angel of Mostar for selfless work during the Bosnian War in the 1990s, she has again stepped in – this time to save more victims of the devastating invasion.

Sally, 59, founder of the British charity Save A Child, was successful in her mission to get 54 orphans and their guardians out of Ukraine in March.

Shortly after that evacuation, she returned to the battered city of Dnipro – after receiving permission from Olha Stefanishyna, the country’s deputy prime minister – to assist more families to flee.

Sally has spent a fraught three months of travelling and negotiations to get the group on to the last stage of their journey to safety.

Authorities had organised transport to a safe haven at Janow Podlaski in Poland, which included three railway carriages.

Some families had to leave in such a rush they did not have time to pack properly – with belongings crammed into plastic bin bags.

Sally said: “The journey took 22 hours, much of it in pitch darkness as the blackout blinds had to be closed to prevent the train from being targeted by Russian forces.

“We finally got to the border to Poland on May 15 and checked into a hotel housing refugees in Janow Podlaski.

“We submitted the details to the Home Office, but as fast as we sent what they requested, we were asked for more.” The hotel, after more than a week of waiting for visas, was no longer able to put up the group, so Sally booked them into a refugee centre in Warsaw.

The conditions there were grim as 3,000 beds were “crammed into the vast exhibition centre without windows and children were sick”.

On May 26, the Home Office stated visas would not be issued via the Homes for Ukraine scheme as the party was too big.

This was despite the Steve Morgan Foundation charity offering to fund accommodation and food in a hotel for all the women and children for up to six months.

Sally added: “We were told to apply through the Super Sponsor Scheme in Wales and managed to submit 57 visa applications before the plan was closed.

“They still had to wait six weeks and one or two families dropped out, but we managed to find sponsors through Homes for Ukraine.”

The aid worker, from Brighton, is due to fly to Birmingham with the group on Friday. When they land, her “job will finally be done”.

The Steve Morgan Foundation, which paid for the group’s flights to the UK, said: “We are delighted that after months of negotiation places have now been secured.”

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